TUAW's Christmas 2012 iPhone 5 case roundup and giveaway
Ho, ho, ho! For all of you who just got an iPhone 5 for Christmas, it's time to read about some of the new cases that have appeared on the market in the past few months. Some lucky readers will get a chance to win one of those cases to protect their new phones.
We did an earlier roundup of iPhone 5 cases at the beginning of November, and the new cases have literally been piling up like snowdrifts around the TUAW Labs office. So what better time to do a giveaway than after a bunch of readers have found new iPhone 5 boxes sitting under the tree?
Crimson Aluminum Frame Case for the iPhone 5
The iPhone 5 is a beautiful phone, and many owners want protection without hiding the sleek design of their phone behind layers of plastic. Crimson Case introduced the Aluminum Frame Case for iPhone 5 (US$39.95 - $69.95) that protects and showcases your iPhone without adding a lot of weight. At less than 20 grams, the Aluminum Frame Case comes in a rainbow of colors: black, silver, red, purple, pink, orange, polished gold, white, chrome, and 24K gold plate.
Unlike some other iPhone 5 cases I've tested, the Aluminum Frame Case provides complete access to all of the ports on the phone without a lot of bulk. The frame uses aircraft-grade aluminum and elastomer corner guards for great shock protection. A hex driver, two extra screws, a screen protector and a microfiber cleaning cloth are included.
Karas Kustoms Alloy 5 Case
Another of the beautiful aluminum frame type cases for the iPhone 5 comes from Karas Kustoms with the Alloy 5 case ($55). The company uses aluminum with an anodized finish in blue, gold, green, gray, orange, pink, red, violet, silver or black, with your choice of white or black Delrin end caps to protect your iPhone 5. There are also special copper and brass (both $105 each) editions for that special steampunk look.
The hardware is designed to let iPhone 5 owners stand their phones up on their sides, perfect for taking photos or video. An installation hex driver is included, along with a spare pair of hex screws.
X-Doria Engage Bamboo, Venue, and Shield Cases
I have to admit that I like X-Doria's cases. They're well made, stylish, and yet still affordable. With the iPhone 5, we have three cases that really show X-Doria's design skills.
First up is the unique Engage Bamboo ($34.99), which uses laser-etched bamboo to protect the back of your iPhone while providing side protection with a polycarbonate shell. The bamboo gives the Engage Bamboo a nice natural look, and the case is a piece of cake to put on and take off.
Next is the Venue ($34.99), made of two materials designed to absorb shocks and provide a nice 3-D grip pattern that makes the phone easy to hold. The Venue I tested was made of a shiny black polycarbonate with a gray chevron pattern in the same rubberized material that is used inside the case. The Venue comes in black and gray, black and light blue, white and gray, gray and orange (above), green and blue, and red and white. The Venue is a relatively simple case design, but it certainly adds both visual impact and protection to your phone.
For the ultimate in protection, the Shield ($39.99) is a bargain. Using a triple layer design, the Shield wraps your iPhone 5 in an impact resistant body with a hard shell outside and a shatter-resistant front shield. Doors and covers shield all of the ports and switches on your device. The Shield adds a bit of thickness to your iPhone 5, but if you're looking for true protection this is the case for you. It comes in black and dark blue, dark blue and light blue, white and gray, black and yellow, and gray and orange (above) designs.
Hats off to X-Doria for making good looking and protective iPhone 5 cases that don't cost an arm and a leg!
A+ Case Superleggera Pro and Collatio
Taiwanese case manufacturer A+ Case is a rather new addition to our list of accessory makers, but they've gotten off to a fairly good start with the Superleggera Pro and Collatio cases.
The Superleggera Pro is another protective case for iPhone 5, featuring a silicone insert for shock protection and a beautifully-finished polycarbonate hard case on the outside. Silicone plugs and covers keep your ports and switches protected while in the case. Unfortunately, we don't have pricing for the A+ cases or information on availability, but if you're able to get your hands on a Superleggera Pro somewhere, you'll love it.
The Collatio (no link available) is described as a "simple yet decent handmade authentic leather case." It's a foldable wallet case with slots for three credit or ID cards, as well as a money slot. The outside finish of the Collatio is nice; it exudes a solid, warm feel that's not overly ostentatious. The construction of the leather piece that holds the iPhone 5 in place is a little rough, but it does its job well.
ZooGue Social Case for iPhone 5
It's no secret that I'm a fan of ZooGue's products, and the Social Case for iPhone 5 ($9.99) really makes me want to cheer. Instead of charging $30 for a piece of plastic, ZooGue charges ten bucks for a simple protective case made of a silicone-like material.
The Social Case has ridges on the sides to make your phone more "grippable," and while protecting your iPhone 5, it doesn't really detract from the thinness or light weight. The cases come in black, gray, white, red, dark blue, light blue, pink, purple, lime green, and army green. At this price, you could buy a few and switch them off depending on your mood. By the way, that $9.99 price tag includes free shipping.
Gumdrop Cases Drop Tech Series for iPhone 5
Gumdrop's Drop Tech Series case ($44.95) is like a set of tires for a four-wheel drive vehicle; rugged, able to put up with a lot of abuse, and with some good tread. Yes, this case does have a tread pattern on the back, which not only provides a lot of protection but makes the Drop Tech very grippable.
Your iPhone 5 is first encased in a polycarbonate shell frame, then surrounded by the silicone case. It comes in three different primary finishes: black and black, black and red, and army green (seen above). If your tastes run a bit more towards pastel finishes, take a look at the Drop Tech Designer Series cases (also $44.95), which come in blue and pink, yellow and blue, orange and blue, and purple and pink.
Loop Attachment Mummy i5 Cases
Chicago-based Loop Attachment's Mummy Cases are now available for the iPhone 5 ($25). I'm a big fan of these cases, which use silicone for protection in a "mummy-wrapped" design that lets some of the design features of your iPhone 5 peek through. They come in a variety of colors -- everything from basic black and white, graphite (gray), magenta, neon blue, powder blue, neon green, bright orange, purple and red.
As with the ZooGue Social Cases, Loop Attachment's Mummy Cases are meant to protect while being fun and colorful. The company succeeds with a low-cost case that's attractive, lightweight, and eminently collectible.
PureGear Kickstand, PX260, PX360, Dualtek, and Slim Shell
While working on this review, I almost neglected these wonderful cases from PureGear. They're all well-constructed and some of them are quite unique among the hundreds of iPhone 5 cases on the market.
Let's start off with the PX360 and PX260. The PX360 ($49.99) is a high-impact protective case with a "loop" extending above the top of the case. A carabiner is included so you can attach the case and your iPhone 5 to a belt loop or backpack, and there's even a small utility tool that comes with the case. That tool can be used as a wrench, case stand, bottle opener, and ruler. All of this comes in a water-resistant reusable bag for even more protection, and there's a screen shield thrown into the mix as well. The PX360 comes in matte black (with green highlights), clay blue (with light blue highlights), kelp green (with light green highlights), and orchid purple (with lavender highlights).
The PX260 ($39.99) also provides high-impact protection and comes with that cool utility tool, screen shield, and the water-resistant bag. it comes in the same colors as the PX360.
Next is the DualTek Extreme Shock Case ($39.99). Like many of the cases built for super-protection, it comes with an inner soft-polymer lining and an outside impact resistant shell. The DualTek also adds "bumpers" on the corners and back, and ridged sides to make holding onto the case a cinch. The case comes in six colors -- matte black, glossy arctic white, glossy indigo blue, matte fern green, matte simply pink, and matte kayak yellow.
The Kickstand Case and Holster ($29.99) is an inexpensive and utilitarian iPhone case in black or white that features both a low-profile, built-in slider stand and a holster that protects the phone screen. It's made of a rubberized material that gives it a nice grip.
Finally, there's the attractive Slim Shell ($24.99). This colorful case line comes in a bunch of "flavors" -- black tea, coconut jelly (clear), mandarin orange, passion fruit, pistachio mint, strawberry rhubarb, and vanilla bean. It's a one-piece design made up of flexible rubber and hard polycarbonate, easy to put on or take off. Best of all, it doesn't add to the thickness of your slender iPhone 5.
Sena Case Ultraslim Classic and Walletslim for iPhone 5
Last, but certainly not least, are two cases made by luxury case manufacturer Sena. All of Sena's cases are beautifully made of premium leather, and the quality shows through in every stitch. The first case I looked at is the Ultraslim Classic ($29.99), which is an extremely slender pouch-type sleeve that adds almost no bulk to your iPhone 5. It comes in a variety of colors -- black, tan, red, light blue, dark blue, green, orange, brown, white, pink and purple. All of the Ultraslim Classic cases have a velvet lining to cushion your iPhone 5 and are absolutely classy.
On the more practical side is Sena's Walletslim Case ($44.95), which combines a designer wallet with three pockets with a form-fitting leather iPhone case. It's perfect for carrying your phone and a few credit or ID cards in style. The Walletslim comes in smooth leather in black, red, brown and orange, and in crocodile leather in black and red.
Now it's your turn to enter to win one of 24 different cases from TUAW and the manufacturers discussed in this review. Keep in mind, these cases are all for the iPhone 5, so if you don't have one (or don't know someone who does), don't enter! Here are the rules for the giveaway:
- Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
- To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
- The entry must be made before December 28, 2012 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time.
- You may enter only once.
- Twenty-four winners will be selected and will receive an iPhone 5 case (value of case varies, please see descriptions above)
- Click Here for complete Official Rules.
Subscribe to Newsletter
Software Updatesmore updates
- Vizzywig 8xHD price tag now a very affordable $49.99
- Automatic targets teen drivers with License+ service
- Dropbox adds support for TouchID
- YouTube for iOS gets updated with full support for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
- iOS 8.0.1 update now available (Updated -- Don't update!)
- NFL Mobile updated for 2014 Season with new Fantasy Football features, NFL Now integration